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tv   This Week in Northern California  PBS  October 19, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm PDT

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. with money pouring in from outside of the state, what is the role of third party financing on races and campaigns this election? the stakes are high for education funding as the political battle intensifies overco competing tax initiative 30 and 38. to label or not to label genetic processed food. this state would be the first to require mandatory labeling. plus, the works of engineer ard rickard. they shed light on communities not often seen. coming up next.
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good evening. i'm belva davis, and welcome to this week in northern california. joining us is lisa krueger, science reporter. and regional political reporter. and cory cook, political scientist. cory, let's start with you. you teach this stuff, you study this stuff. tell us, what are we seeing that
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is so new this year? >> i think the sheer amount of money we're talking about is new. you had in september alone both mitt romney and president obama raised the most money individually than the two candidates spent in 2004 combined. on the presidential level, we're talking about 2 or 3 billion spent for a local election, magnitudes increase over previous years. >> give us the roots. >> a lot comes from outside groups. our new campaign finance system encourages groups to spend money despite the campaigns. american crossroads is an organization started by car carl rove which allows them to runny tv commercials they want, but they also have a group gps, a non-profit dedicated to social
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welfare, which means they don't even have to disclose where the money comes from. half a billion right now is just from organizations. >> part of the organization of finance reform was to prevent corruption and increase transparency. >> what's going on? >> there is americans for responsible leadership which poured money into the state campaign. their transparency is government, but when they put $11 million in the campaign ad, they don't disclose where they get their money from. what we do is say if you give money to a candidate, you might be corrupting them. we need to cap that. in san francisco, give a $500 contribution. it's regulated, it must be disclosed because that's where we said corruption can come into the system. if you want to spend money on your own and not give it to a candidate, the supreme court,
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essentially beginning in 1994, said that's not corrupting the system. so you can spend as much as you can as long as it's not coordinated with a candidate. the result of that is we have these amazing ads that are run but not run by the campaigns themselves but run with these groups with sort of odd names. >> but aren't these supposedly independent non-coordinated groups often have the same staff members who just worked in the campaign, sometimes working out of offices very proximate to the campaign? >> and sometimes using campaign footage that was just used by the campaign. so the line between whether it's coordinated or not is obviously a very gray one, but when the campaign is negative, the candidate can say, not only do i want to you take it off the air, it would be illegal to say that. i can't even tell my former staff to stop doing it because that would violate campaign finance laws. >> my in box the last few days have been flooded with cries from one side or the other saying, so and so just gave
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another million or 10 million to so and so through this group that we can't find out anything about them. this race was neck and neck before that money came. >> it's hard to assess the credibility of a group if you don't know who is funding them. >> absolutely right. voters use cues when they decide how to vote. they don't necessarily look at the candidates and their positions, what they do is take information shortcuts. among those shortcuts is looking at things like who is contributing money to the various campaigns? so americans who give money but don't disclose, it makes it hard for the voter to say, what side am i on in this? we're deeply divided and yet closely divided. as a result of that, there is a lot at stake in this election, so people are getting an awful lot of money because they care deeply how this will turn out, but we're talking a lot of races. the presidential race are effectively tied, congressional races are effectively tied. >> that was the latest one. nancy pelosi talked about the
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number of women. this is supposed to be the year of the woman. you have a number of races where the women are competitive in races and they're sort of even, until just this weekend when there was a flood of money that came into these on one side. >> historically, women have had difficulty raising money, and this is the logic to a group like emily's list, which help women candidates raise money where they certainly can't compete effectively with men. so you see these outside groups who can effectively write checks. shelly adelson gave a lot of money. we're talking huge impacts of money for these races. the race we're talking about now, the challenge with david lee, a lot of people think it's
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a swing district in the board of supervisors. i think it got a lot of attention in the last week or so because the outside groups supporting david lee ran an odd campaign video that they put on youtube to try to get some attention. i think we'll be able to see that now. [ chanting ] >> tens of thousands of students are forming a march against -- >> so one of the things you see, and obviously the imagery is pretty stark just to look at it, but there are 660,000 television ads, a study came out this morning that showed 660,000 different ads. to cut through that, you have to be somewhat provocative. this reminds me of the demon sheep ad that ran in california where she accused her opponent of being a sheep in wolf's clothing, whatever it is. >> in terms of the supervisors, i can't remember very many times when there's been a commercial -- >> certainly not like this.
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but the intended is for it to go viral where other people about l pi -- will pick it up and they count on it going viral. there was one similar that got a lot of attention. i think this is darker than that, but it's certainly designed to get attention around the race, and we're talking a million dollars. >> we're going to move on to another two races that are largely, i guess, going to be determined by who wants to put in the most money at the end? >> basically the same story. jerry brown, who is pushing prop 30, which is his sales and income tax increase for education, can't seem to catch a break this week. you know, he talked molly munger, the attorney pushing prop 38, pulled an ad she had stopped running against prop 30 specifically. people called it a murder
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suicide. her proposition wasn't doing well in the polls so she decide to do put money, instead of advertising hers, into attacking his. just almost as soon as he somehow prevailed upon them or they decided to pull that ad off the air, $11 million shows up both to fight prop 30 and to advocate for prop 32 which is widely seen as a measure to deprive unions of the main financing methods that they have for political activity. it came from out of state from an organization, as you mentioned before, called americans for responsible leadership, and they don't have to say a word and they're not saying a word about where that $11 million comes from. >> josh, this is legal. >> completely legal. >> why does arizona care about what happens in california? >> it may be telling that the head of this organization is a guy named robert graham who is a candidate for arizona republican party chairman. it tells you something about the
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politics involved, obviously. again, where that money actually originated, we don't know, we won't know. and it will make a difference. $11 million spread over two ballot measure campaigns is still a great deal of money, and you'll be seeing those ads very soon, i'm quite sure. >> how does the average candidate even get up in the morning to go out to fight for his position knowing that they have this -- you know, this big boulder? >> it's hard, and jerry brown has sort of been countering this avalanche of money by pounding the pavement, kissing babies -- or actually, college students -- no, he actually didn't kiss any college students but he was visiting college campuses this week, trying to build support for the measure basically telling them, your tuition is going to go up if you don't help us pass this. he did, in an interview yesterday, say that these $6 billion in trigger cuts that are to occur if his proposition does not pass are not going to be
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revisited. he's not going to go back and try to do any of those over after election day. >> we never go back to the foundation. we're sort of talking about the icing here, which is the money, but the substance of what brown is. >> exactly. this was actually built into the state budget that was enacted this year, and his prop 30 is a 30% sales tax to last four years, and an income tax increase for those making $250,000 more in seven years. that ranged somewhere between 7 million to 9 billion, depending on who you ask. but the flip side of that is there are automatic trigger cuts for this thing if it does not pass, because the budget is dependent on it passing and that's going to come directly from education.
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he said that is going to happen if prop 30 doesn't pass. prop 30 is currently polling right around 50%, so it is a nail biter, to be sure. >> obviously the governor has a lot of stake in this. is he actually able to poll death bait? he influential in this? is it working? >> it's hard to say. certainly the munger ads that were running against it were influential because it pulled the poll numbers down below 50%, and maybe a little below in some. it's hard for one man, even though he's the governor of california -- >> do we have to use prop 38? >> right, prop 38 is the income tax rate for most californians. it's across the board. it would last for 12 years. the sun would set on the end of those 12 years unless it was renewed. and they would raise 10 billion.
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it would not, by most accounts, so snep this year and raise. >> is munger, is that targeted toward k-12. >> yeah, it is to k-12. that's pothe population he's trying to sell to right now. >> the one with the most votes gets the attention. >> we will vote our entire program next friday to the topic of education finance, and you will hear from supporters of both sides of that proposition. we move now to another hot proposition, one that's just out there asking outsideres to come in. because it's all about labeling food and there is a big interest group in whether we do that or not. >> proposition 37 would require labeling of any food that's genetically modified. which is a good deal. something like 27% of all foods
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contains some food that is at least modified. california would be the first state of the nation to go this way. with union union control, fascination and the rest of the count country. the yes on 37 says, it's your own business. the yes on 37 say it could be a lot of legal challenges. what i see about the whole thing is, really, it's much more than about a label. yes, i'm 37. people tend to be suspicious of m monsanto, big companies that are behind this, that don't necessarily trust the fda, they don't necessarily trust bio technology, where some people in this feels biotechnology is going to be too high in some
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places. if you have to label something just for california, it's going to be pretty complicated pretty quickly. >> they aren't asking that the products be made differently, they're just asking to let people know. >> that's a very good point. what that means is you can't have something labeled just for california. >> i've heard, though, that there's some thought that rather than have to break it, some gmo products in some of their foods and that cost will eventually get paid off to skurmds. >> you could be surprised, makes no difference at all. it could be you laperred. in that scenario, they would want you to reformulate.
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and he's with organics or non gmo, it could lead to divorce. pretty much die verge he not is you're simply changing a label, thaet 2 thousands. what do you gentlemenically. are not to efficiencies in production. genetic modification has been done throughout human history. it's been done in the filed, the harmz, pipe owe kreen. this extract or is unique now. it's different with that is it
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have. or pesticide resistance. the other thing that's different about it you can introduce a speenz from the jean very dirnt than fill it into. >>. and your level of success spags as to how well regulated of of. she fills there was big-time playing. they're out spending 5 to 6 to 1. >> so several weeks, 2-1 in favor of this. it's now 48, 40% in a whole lot closer. so it's fat nagt.
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what this all means and what we see on our grocery shelf is something you can develop this little buy. >> well, it was enough for him to do what he needed to do. we're going to take a break from politics and shift to a new take on technology and art. many of us use google street views to essentially bring maps to life, but doug pickard used it as a lens to view people in communities who often go unnoticed with compelling and sometimes controversial foet graphic audiences.
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>> i'm moving the curse or and composing these scenes. >> ironically, rickard said it was the cursor that produced a rick ety feel.
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some of the lines sort of skew out because of the fixed angle lens and they're stitching the actual dynamics of the camera within google emphasized the way i wanted to speak in these images. >> images that have made their way into the permanent collection of the san diego museum of modern art. >> i was really blown away by the work when i saw it right away. >> she is a curator of photography. >> he's not the only one that used google street view, but i think he comes at it from this very sophisticated and very educated point of view. it resonates much more deeply than some of the other work that i've seen. >> you have this distinct feeling, more of a claustrophobia or a feeling of decay, and it is really happening. >> rickard's work is new, otoole
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said, but grounded in the past. their images documented the poor and their race and divisions and class. >> doug has a similarly sort of documentary purpose. it's art but it also has a sort of deep, political message to it. >> this sort of drive-by picture taking is symbolic in a way of the anonymous nature of how these people live. even the textures of the images which is almost broken down in terms of the digital artifacts and the pixelation, it feels -- poetic, i think, is the right word. >> rickard heightens that sense of isolation. like his predecessors, he wants
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to shed a light on those out of view. >> they're visual. they're cordoned off geographically, they're cordoned off in terms of a voice. they're cordoned off in terms of economic power. >> there is beauty but there is also sort of desolation and loanliness. >> rickard says he only has to type three letters to delve into a struggle. mlk. >> mlk is just a massive symbol of hope. i'm using him to locate where there is little hope. the images need to almost challenge the viewer. almost provoke him like this. >> much of rickard's work is pushing against his past. he grew up in manicured suburban los gatos. his father was a preacher who
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idolized america. but rickard's studies showed a different story. >> i studied civil rights and slavery, and i was so affected by an american story that was so different from the way that i had seen our country. i remember just being furious, you know. >> it's that fury and in d indignation that had fueled rickard's work. but since he's not on scene taking the photographs, it became controversial. it can be fascinating work to -- >> this guy says lazy, turgid, pathetic and entirely uninteresting. it's all over the board. people have commented that i'm not even a photographer. >> of course it's photography. i think what doug is doing is looking through google as sort of his lens. the internet is helping redefine what it means to be a photographer. >> see this? and then you come right into
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here. and there's damage. >> in fact, rickard says, in an ocean of digital imagery, creating something special is becoming more and more difficult, no matter how easy the tools are. >> i think it really boils down to what you bring to it, you know, that's between your ears, you know, ultimately. art is about ideas. it's about how you're wired, how you're driven, obsessions and what you have to say. and i think that we're in an era of editors in a way. >> what started as an idea in rickard's head in his home studio has spread to an ongoing international conversation. his collection, called "a new american picture" has moved beyond the bay area to the new york museum of modern art, the george pompadou center in paris, and as far away as korea and japan. >> things have changed rapidly. photography is being affected.
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>> rickard is happy to advance the conversation even in a time where those in the art world, especially in photography, are anxious over the impact of a digital age. >> our tools and our abilities to speak are being opened up and shifted into new territory. it's a never-ending ocean of potential. >> interesting story. well, that's all for tonight. i want to thank all of you for joining us here this evening. remember to visit you'll find a link there to kqed's proposition guide. please tune in next week at an in-depth look at what's in stake for school funding in the upcoming election. public radio's al ebson will guest host. i'll be back on november 2nd. i'm belva davis. thanks for watching. good night.
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